Dog Adoption Tips I Learned From My 2 Dogs

Dog Adoption Tips I Learned From My 2 Dogs

There’s a​ hole in​ your life that only a​ dog can fill. you​ want a​ special dog,​ perhaps just a​ full-grown adult. Maybe your code of​ ethics calls for saving a​ dog’s life – not buying an​ expensive purebred.

I’m not a​ veterinarian or​ a​ dog trainer,​ but I’ve enjoyed two successful adoptions. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the​ way.

(1) Clarify your requirements ahead of​ time.

Once you’re standing in​ front of​ a​ cage,​ it’s easy to​ say,​ “Well,​ he’s a​ lot bigger than I expected,​ and I really wanted a​ female,​ but oh he’s SO cute!” No amount of​ love or​ training will help if​ your dog needs more exercise than you​ can provide.

(2) Know the​ difference between shelter and rescue groups.

Most cities have humane societies where you​ can view dogs and make a​ choice. Rescue groups typically hold animals in​ foster care – which is​ good,​ because you​ can ask the​ foster mom all sorts of​ questions. For example,​ they can say,​ “This dog lived with two cats so you​ know you​ can trust her.”

(3) Be prepared to​ pay.

Shelter animals are not free,​ but you​ do get value for money. Expect to​ pay a​ fee that may include spay/neuter costs,​ licensing,​ and/or veterinarian visits.

(4) Consider an​ older dog.

By the​ time a​ dog has turned three or​ four,​ she’s as​ big as​ she’s going to​ get. No surprises! You’ll also have clues regarding his temperament.

(5) Plan to​ confine the​ dog during a​ period of​ transition.

Your new dog doesn’t get it. She was in​ a​ loving home (or left alone in​ a​ yard all day or​ even abused). Then she spent a​ few weeks in​ a​ cage,​ feeling lonely and isolated. Maybe she’s been passed around to​ multiple homes.

Bottom line,​ she’s stressed. She may chew,​ dig,​ bark,​ or​ even lose her house training at​ first.

Crating the​ dog prevents destructive behavior. My dogs both looked visibly relieved as​ they retreated to​ their crates every day. “Time to​ relax,​” they seemed to​ say.

(6) Invest in​ training.

Most dogs are turned over to​ the​ shelter because of​ behavior problems. if​ you’re new to​ the​ world of​ dog behavior,​ take a​ class or​ hire a​ professional. Most behavior can be corrected,​ even among older dogs. But if​ you’re not sure,​ ask a​ professional. Some behaviors can’t be “fixed.”

(7) Incorporate large doses of​ exercise and walks into your day.

Walking together builds your bond and a​ tired dog is​ a​ good dog. Begin the​ exercise program immediately so you​ can gain a​ sense of​ how much exercise the​ dog needs – an​ important factor in​ the​ dog’s adjustment – and start training for the​ basics on​ the​ way home from the​ shelter.

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